- The Big Ten Network (BTN) is a television channel dedicated to all things Big Ten sports and was launched in 2007 as a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Sports.
- BTN became the first-ever conference-owned sports network in broadcast history and offers live games, expert analysis, and original programming.
- BTN is committed to event equality, producing and distributing an even number of men’s and women’s sporting events throughout the year.
- Other college sports stations include the Pac-12 Network, the SEC Network, and ESPNU, which provide alternative programming to BTN and cater to passionate fan bases from other collegiate conferences.
Are you a huge college sports fan? Then you’re probably more than familiar with the Big Ten Conference. But did you know about the Big Ten Network? It’s an entire television channel dedicated to all things Big Ten sports. Loyal DISH Network subscribers have enjoyed access to the channel for years now. But do you know how to find the station on your satellite guide? If the answer is no, we’ll help you find it in no time — and tell you the kinds of programming you can expect to see on the channel.
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Big Ten Network Channel Guide
|Channel Number on DISH Network
|Big Ten Network (BTN)
History of Big Ten Network
Big Ten Network (or BTN) was launched in 2007 as a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Sports. The Fox Corporation owns 61% of the network through its Fox Sports Media Group arm, while the Big Ten Conference owns the other 39% stake. The idea originated back in 2004. Big Ten and ESPN entered negotiations to form their own network, but it ultimately fell apart. Big Ten turned to Fox, and the rest was history. With this, the two could finally cater to the growing audience for televised college sports.
With its launch, BTN became the first-ever conference-owned sports network in broadcast history. From its inaugural broadcast on September 1st, the channel immediately rose to the challenge posed by rival networks from ESPN and NBC. It covered college football, basketball, hockey, and eventually even e-sports — all from fan-favorite Big Ten universities. The network’s live games and expert commentary gave fans unprecedented access to the college sports they loved, unlike anything they’d seen from other networks before.
Unique to BTN is its commitment to event equality — a promise to produce and distribute an even number of men’s and women’s sporting events throughout the year. While it faced some coverage issues in the early years, the Big Ten Network grew so popular that it eventually reached over 60 million subscribers by 2014. Today, the Big Ten Network remains a vital part of college sports coverage. It serves as a hub for all things Big Ten and contributes to the enduring legacy of this prestigious collegiate athletic conference.
Big Ten Network Sister Stations
|Fox Soccer Plus
Big Ten Network Programming
Since 2007, the Big Ten Network has been a comprehensive home for fans of Big Ten sports. It offers live games, expert analysis, and engaging original programming that goes beyond the scoreboard — giving viewers the games they want to see along with a deeper understanding of the athletes and institutions that make up this prestigious athletic conference. Here’s what you can expect to see on a typical day of programming on BTN.
The Big Ten Network is known best for its live games. The channel offers a diverse range of sporting events throughout the year, all through the lens of the Big Ten Conference. From football to basketball, baseball to hockey, BTN plays men’s and women’s games across a variety of sports. Leading up to the Olympics, BTN also airs more than 170 different NCAA-sponsored Olympic events.
Like most sports networks, BTN has a wide array of shows with commentators in addition to its live games. From in-depth analysis to post-game commentary to studio shows, Big Ten Network’s commentary programs break down game highlights, team strategies, and the latest news from the world of the Big Ten Conference. Each sport has its own roster of rotating commentators.
When it’s not game time, the Big Ten Network doesn’t simply go off the air. It has a library of original programming and documentary series that air during downtime. For example: There’s At the Net, a behind-the-scenes look at college volleyball. There’s also The Journey, which delves into the stories behind star athletes in the Big Ten Conference.
From time to time, BTN also plays special events that don’t fit the mold of your typical Big Ten Network programming. We mentioned the NCAA-sponsored Olympic events above, but there’s more to it than just that. For instance, BTN also airs events like The Big Ten Academic All-Americans, which honors the academic achievements of student-athletes.
Other College Sports Stations
The Big Ten Network is not to be confused with other college sports stations on the air today. While similar, these other networks offer alternative programming to BTN. The list includes the Pac-12 Network, the SEC Network, and ESPNU. These networks cater to similarly passionate fan bases from other collegiate conferences. They provide their own live games, analysis, and original content to enthusiastic viewers. Together with BTN, these other college sports stations provide a comprehensive calendar of college sports events nationwide.
The Pac-12 Network focuses on sports within the Pacific-12 Conference, showcasing universities like USC, UCLA, and Oregon. It offers live game coverage, studio shows, and original content tailored to Pac-12 fans. The SEC Network is dedicated to the Southeastern Conference, featuring schools like Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. It broadcasts SEC sports events, including football, basketball, and baseball, along with analysis and commentary. ESPNU covers a wide range of college sports from various conferences, not limited to a single conference. It’s an extension of ESPN.